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Running Thoughts: Mentoring a Resident, Judging Parents, and Receiving Approval

10 August 2012

This morning I ran 3.5 miles in 35:00 and walked an additional .28 miles in my 5 minute cool down. I slept in an extra 30 minutes so I hit the ground running with my mind racing and my thoughts wandered. As I reflect on my thinking, three ideas stand out from my run:

  1. Working with a Martin Institute resident – This fall I’ll be working with Julia Porter, a Martin Institute resident. Julia is a recent graduate of Ole Miss and just moved to Memphis. She’s interested in teaching secondary school English. She’ll be spending some time with me and my students this first trimester, and yesterday was our first day to work together. I must confess I wasn’t very well prepared for Julia’s arrival. I had wanted to provide more structure and a nice to-do list for us to work from, but that never developed. With Debbie going back to work on July 30, I have been in full-time daddy mode up until the start of in-service. Nevertheless, Julia and I talked a bit about her student teaching experience and my teaching transformation over the past few years. I even shared with her the vision I’m developing for our 6th grade reading course. She’s really bright and I hope she’s able to learn from me as much as I expect I’ll learn from her. I gave her a copy of John Spencer‘s book A Sustainable Start. Perhaps, we can read through some of it and reflect together–if time permits. Regardless, I’m looking forward to having her in our learning space.
  2. Parenting at the bus stop – As I ran past the middle school bus stop, I noticed several parents waiting with their children for the bus to arrive. It struck me as a bit odd considering that school started five days ago, and in my mind I immediately began to question why these parents felt the need to hover. I started down that path in my head for a few minutes, assuming the worst, before I caught myself. What was I thinking? I didn’t know these parents or these kids. Why was I judging them? Assigning them motives and insecurities? Honestly, I felt pretty guilty about it. I want to be one who assumes the best about people. I want to default to thinking well about others and their motives, but I’m afraid that isn’t always the case. Ugh. I really need to work on this.
  3. Receiving approval for my idea – Yesterday afternoon Julia and I sat down with Mrs. Droke to share my idea that I am developing in response to the work I did during my Master Class with John Hunter. Without going into too many details (I’m not ready to share just yet), the meeting went really well. Mrs. Droke expressed excitement about the idea and suggested some resources to help us flesh it out further. (Woo hoo!) I’m thrilled and my mind is working overtime considering the possibilities. I am thankful that I teach at a school that seeks to embrace innovation and change and that I have administrators who support and encourage my taking risks. I spent several minutes during my run just dreaming about what could be.

My next run will be this Sunday when I will run my first 5-mile race. It’s the third race in the Memphis Runners Track Club Road Race Series. My goal is to finish in 55 minutes or less, though I’d really like to beat the 52 minute mark. We’ll see what happens. Feel free to leave a comment in response to today’s thoughts. As I always, I appreciate the feedback and conversation.

Note: I completed my run early this morning, but I didn’t get the chance to sit down tand write this post until tonight. I’m in the middle of inservice and things are very busy. 

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. 11 August 2012 12:41 pm

    I love reading these reflections from your runs. They are much similar to what is in my head when I get back from a walk. I am going to be working with our Upper School on some PD this year. Can’t wait to hear about your new ideas!

    Enjoy the rest of August!

    • 12 August 2012 1:31 pm

      Thanks, Hadley. I’m enjoying both the running and the writing. I’d love to hear about the PD you are providing. Are you going to build movement into it? Thanks for reading and commenting.

  2. 12 August 2012 8:56 am

    I have never had a student teacher/resident in my classroom. I am interested to hear how it goes. I am afraid I might be too pushy with my views and too dismissive of his/hers.

    • 12 August 2012 1:36 pm

      It’s a new adventure for me, but I think it will be nice to have an in-the-room PLN member to collaborate and share ideas with. I hope I’m not too pushy–I definitely am passionate about many of my views, but Julia’s learning is just that–hers, so I want there to be plenty of open space for ideas that aren’t my own. Besides, the world definitely doesn’t need another @Philip_Cummings. :)

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